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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

She turned with severity upon Nancy. He
had not chased them, she said. He had been
asked.

They must find a way out of it all. There
might be some simpler way, some less laborious
way, she sighed. When she looked in the glass
and saw her hair grey, her cheek sunk, at fifty,
she thought, possibly she might have managed
things better—her husband; money; his books.
But for her own part she would never for a single
second regret her decision, evade difficulties, or
slur over duties. She was now formidable to
behold, and it was only in silence, looking up
from their plates, after she had spoken so severely
about Charles Tansley, that her daughters—
Prue, Nancy, Rose—could sport with infidel ideas
which they had brewed for themselves of a life
different from hers; in Paris, perhaps; a wilder
life; not always taking care of some man or other;
for there was in all their minds a mute questioning
of deference and chivalry, of the Bank of England
and the Indian Empire, of ringed fingers and lace,
though to them all there was something in this
of the essence of beauty, which called out the
manliness in their girlish hearts, and made them,
as they sat at table beneath their mother's eyes,
honour her strange severity, her extreme courtesy,
like a Queen's raising from the mud a beggar's
16